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Thread: book recommendation

  1. #1
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    Jul 2012

    book recommendation

    So i have been haveing guitar lesson for 1 and a half years now and my teacher is teaching me fundamentals of the guitar as my aim is to solo useing the 7 modes in a kinda rock blues way, i have been practiceing scales in 3rds, 1234 2345 combinations as well as hammer ons and pull offs and a bunch of other stuff, i have also been playing along with backing music that he has giveing me also and now all the hard work is deff paying off as my technic is deff getting loads better with good temp

    One problem i have got that i have overheard fellow guitar players talking about is that a guitar soloist player is only as gd as his rhythem!!!

    To be honest i have completly not put much thought into chords rhythem and harmony progression a great deal even tho i do understand some of it by diff posts that others has posted on ibreath and i think its a dam good idea to get a lil bit more of a understanding of it as the truth of the matter is i know only basic chords of the root notes of each mode i play in either the key of G or E and all i have been doing is recording a chord progression on a boss rc 30 looper a soloing over the top of it......

    I need a gd idea of what kinda books to get so i can get a better understanding of chords and how to find them in the modes i play and get a better understanding about rhythem playing, i have came up with 2 gd books to get wich are simple to understand and are a gd read:

    Chord Tone Soloing: A Guitarist's Guide to Melodic Improvising in Any Style and speed mechanics with has nothing to do with rtythem playing but it has a lot of gd points wich crossroads has pointed out......

    thanks in advance for all your help.....rob

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Quote Originally Posted by RoBbIe G View Post
    ................................... I need a gd idea of what kinda books to get so i can get a better understanding of chords and how to find them in the modes i play and get a better understanding about rhythm playing, i have came up with 2 gd books to get wich are simple to understand and are a gd read:
    Hang with me I'll list a book and several Internet sites in the follow epistle. Since you are talking about modes and you would like to know more about chords and where they fit into all this................... Keep this in mind. Unless you are really good and can play echo melody you will play melody (scales and modes) when you have the lead and chord accompaniment when others have the lead. Those others could be your voice. When you sing the melody you accompany your vocal playing chords. So you really need to know how both fit together.

    OK Chords and modes. Understand modes and chords fit differently than scales and chords. Once you go with modes you need to play modal. Do a Google. Modal does not resolve it sustains. There are no V-I cadences in modal music. Modal music sustain itself, so the modal mood has a chance to develop. Important point........ Modal is advanced stuff best gotten into after you have exhausted everything that can be done with the major and natural minor scale.

    That out of the way. How/why do you select a specific mode? For it's sound, I like the word mood. Only way to hear that mood is to play the mode over a droning something, i.e. you mentioned the E chord - sound the Em7 chord and then play E Dorian or sound the Emaj7 chord and play E Lydian, etc. If you do that the mood of the mode will have time to develop. If you were to play E Lydian over an E-A-B chord progression about all you will hear is the tonal center of that progression which will be E Major. Now if you were to play E Lydian over a droning E note (your big E string) you will hear Lydian's mood. Also over the tonic E chord plus a chord having the characteristic note of Lydian, the #4, that will give you a modal two chord vamp that will sustain Lydian's mood. My point. If you are going to play modes play modal. Use modal vamps. http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm3.html
    Little more of the story: http://www.riddleworks.com/modes2.html

    IMHO this video on how to practice modes has value. Yes it's on bass, however, solo modes are solo modes be it on a 6 string electric lead guitar or 4 string bass. Listen to what Scott has to say about using the mode's notes for your improvisation of the tune. http://scottsbasslessons.com/welcome-to-the-shed

    Might want to copy down these scale degrees:
    Major Scale Box Pattern
    E|---7---|--R(8)-|-------|---2---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 6th string

    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
    • Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
    • Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
    Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.

    Major modes
    • Ionian same as the Major Scale. Major scale gives an attractive up beat sound, if that is what you want use the major scale. As modes are moods of the major scale, kinda hard to make Ionian a mode in the true modal since. Grab a chord progression and use notes from the major scale.
    • Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple. Lydian is much like the major scale with a day dreamy feel. I seldom use it as I do not hear that much difference between it and the major scale. At any rate you will need a modal vamp so the modal mood of Lydian can develop.
    • Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7. Change one note..... Mix has a Latin or Blues feel, depending on the chords used under it. Used with a Blues all dominant seven chord progression, E7-A7-B7 it will produce a Blues feel. Used with a vamp containing the b7 note in the chord you will hear something different. I hear Latin, Mexican actually.

    Minor Modes
    • Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale. As the major scale is the home bass for major modes Aeolian or the Natural Minor scale is home bass for the minor modes. Aeolian is said to have a sad feel. It's characteristic note is the b6.
    • Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6. Change one note. Dorian is said to have an attractive minor jazz feel. It's characteristic note is the natural 6. Dorian is one of my favorite modes. I can hear that minor sound dripping from my strings.
    • Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2. Again change one note. Of course it's characteristic note is the b2. Said to have an exotic sound. I hear Middle Eastern. Fun mode to use.
    • Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5. OK here you have to change two notes. Locrian is said to have a dark and tense sound. Characteristic note is the b5. IMO a single chord m7b5 (vii diminished) droning is the best harmony cord for Locrian.
    After all that, learn how to solo over a cord progression and the major or natural minor scale first, then --- much later, move into modes. That then brings us to your next question.

    Your other question:
    Chord Tone Soloing: A Guitarist's Guide to Melodic Improvising in Any Style and speed mechanics with has nothing to do with rhythm playing but it has a lot of gd points wich crossroads has pointed out...... thanks in advance for all your help.....rob
    Soloing using chord tones is using the tonal progression, perhaps I IV V, and playing the notes of the chord active in the song at this specific moment. That can be as simple as playing the chord's arpeggio or perhaps a little more complex as using selected notes from the chord's pentatonic scale. The pentatonic will give you 3 chord tones and two safe passing notes. So playing the pentatonic scale of the chord gets harmonization and gives you two safe passing notes for color or interest.

    Now playing them in scale/chord order will sound like a scale exercise, so mix them up to match the song's tune. Our ear likes four note phrases and pauses to let the melody breath. If you are composing an original melody pick a key and use the notes of the key to make your melody and your chords. Start out with three close notes from the scale and then a leap of at least a 3rd, then pause. Let the note the leap landed on be your launch for three more close notes..... then a leap..... then a recover. All that as a string of notes is just noise. Throw in some pauses. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fk2p...eature=related
    See how the head repeats, the song comes back to the head over and over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37ZaS...feature=relmfu

    A book? The above came from several. Here is a good place to start. http://archive.org/details/exercisesinmelod00goetrich Read on line or download, it's all free. You will need to look at the first 30 pages, i.e. keep reading. Three notes then a leap, and look for what to do after the leap. But, anytime you are soloing a melody that melody, tune, will need to come into the picture somewhere. Just calling up a mode or a scale and hoping that will do for a solo, well, good luck with that. Songs have a tune, your solo should be based upon the tune. Let the melody be your guide. Then find those melody notes within the scale, the chord, the mode, which ever one you are comfortable working with. It all starts with the scale, change one note and it's a mode. Use three or four specific notes of the scale and those notes become a chord. All the notes of a scale are going to sound good together so all of them are good notes.

    Very long story to say find the tune within the good notes, and play that for your solo. Or -- play by rote what the songwriter has written, i.e. play from sheet music. Which is not a bad way to learn how to solo. Tabs if you must, but, give some serious thought to playing from standard notation.

    Have fun, it is a journey,
    Last edited by Malcolm; 10-17-2012 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    The rest of the story and then something that answers your question about how chords move the story along in the verse.

    The following is a basic format you could use to write any song. The format should give you an idea of how music thinks. Knowing that usually clears up a lot of things. Use as much of this as you need.
    • Decide on a scale. Yes just one. I sing in D if this is going to be my song I'd write it with D scale notes for the melody and chords from the key of D will give me the harmony. If you do not have any vocalist in mind C is easy - no sharps or flats. OK I want to write a Pop, Rock or Country song so Major scale and major chords will be a good starting point.

    • Decide on a chord progression. Yes one of the cookie cutter progressions will be fine to get started. You can flesh it out later. Since this is my song I'd use a I IV V7 I or D, G, A7, D progression.

    • Now the rest is chicken or egg. I chose lyrics, chords then melody. You may want to go melody then chords and leave lyrics for last. It's your song do it the way you want. I'll give the lyrics first method.

    • Get the story into verse format. Four line verse is a good format. You will need three verses and a chorus. Chorus is the hook, what you want them singing tomorrow. Rhyme or not up to you.

    • Place your cookie cutter progression over the lyric words. This is my first draft approach. Start the verse with the I chord - you are at rest to start so the I tonic chord makes since. To get some interest into the chord progression we need to get some tension into the progression so move to the IV chord near the ending of the first line. Continue with the IV into the second line and near the end of the second line bring in the V7 chord. This increases the tension and acts as a climax. Since we have reached climax quickly end the 2nd line with the I chord. You moved the first two lines from I (rest) to IV (tension) to V7 (climax) and then resolved back to the I chord and rest. Repeat this for the 3rd and 4th line. I like to get two V-I cadences into my four line verse. Might as well use that same format for the other verses and what the heck use it for the chorus - remember you are doing a first draft. Verse format -- one way -- first two lines bring up a thought then the 3rd and 4th line of the verse react to what was said in the first two lines and then bring that thought to a close so verse number two can bring up another thought.

    • Play that progression and move the chords around to where they match the lyric words. Move them a little one way or the other - your ear will tell you.

    • Now it's melody time. I go to the keyboard for this - at any rate - one melody note per lyric word. Ma-ry and Lit-tle will take two melody notes.

    • Which notes. Chord tones. The chord's pentatonic will give you three chord tones and two safe passing notes - more than enough to build a melody that will harmonize with the chords you are using. Yes your melody notes and your chord notes should share like notes - when they do you harmonize both the melody and the chord line. I find knowing the progression first then finding melody notes from within the chords lets me keep the chord progression's journey from rest, tension, climax, resolution and return to rest the verse should travel intact. Now I only have to find harmonizing notes for my melody. Here is what I do. Recite the lyric word and see what chord tone sounds best, i.e. over the C chord you've got the C, E or G notes - and let's say the word in question is "now" say now and listen to the C note - what do you think? Try the E note, then the G note. I'd pick the C or E the G does not work for me. Which one sounds best to you? That's how I build the melody - what sounds good over the lyrics. What flows over several words - a phrase. Remember to pause - gotta get that rhythm into the song a line of notes is noise, a melody that flows and has pauses so the melody can breath is your goal. We speak in phrases, your song should be sung in phrases. Here is Mary Had A Little Lamb in C; notice it's one melody note per lyric word:

    C.....................................Dm.......... .....C
    Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb.... Lit-tle lamb... lit-tle lamb.
    E...D...C...D.E..E...E..........D...D..D........E. .G...G
    • That will get you a lead sheet, treble clef, chords and lyrics. A bass clef would be nice or just leave it as a lead sheet and let the bassist compose the bass line - how the chord tones are played - as he/she feels best.
    Sit back open a bottle of your favorite beverage and start on fleshing out your first draft.

    That is just about all that is necessary to write a simple song.
    Of course it's easier to just play the song from published sheet music. The songwriter has already figured all of what we have been talking about for you. Not sure where your instructor is going to take you next, but, I'd hope some published songs enter your world. It's great to know all this stuff, but, the fun comes from playing the song.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 10-16-2012 at 04:54 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoBbIe G View Post
    So i have been haveing guitar lesson for 1 and a half years now...i have been practiceing scales in 3rds, 1234 2345 combinations as well as hammer ons and pull offs and a bunch of other stuff...
    How about practicing some actual music, rather than just technical exercises?

    Can you play a song - any song - from start to finish? Nothing fancy, even just the chords?

    If not, I'd suggest you're putting the cart before the horse...
    Last edited by walternewton; 10-16-2012 at 04:35 AM.

  5. #5
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    Both those books, Chord Tone Soloing and Speed Mechanics, are brilliant as sources of learning, playing exercises, and practice material, ie they are good for using as the basis of your general practice regime every day. They also contain lots of cool pieces to play, from relatively short licks to complete songs/pieces.

    On the other hand, neither of those books is really about Modes. And they are not really about anything much to do with chords either (Speed Mechanics barely even mentions any chords).

    OK, well the following is just my 2: cents of some personal thoughts, but …

    … Let’s take a couple of steps back for a moment - firstly, musicians say all sorts of things, inc. a lot of complete nonsense lol ... eg saying that you must concentrate on rhythm playing. Of course you need to develop playing with a good rhythmic feel and good timing, but you also need to learn 100 other things very well too.

    Second - I would not worry much at all about so-called "Modes" at this stage. Far too much is said and claimed about modes, and a lot of what's said and believed is completely wrong. So, I'd concentrate on just getting really clear about playing in Major Keys vs. playing in Minor Keys (those are different "modes" anyway).

    Thirdly - I agree with Walter that one of the most important, and rewarding, things you can do is learn to play a few of your favourite guitar-based songs. For which - get a songbook with full TAB (and notation), and learn the song all the way through. As you keep practicing it, keep listening to the original track or the demo track on the CD that comes with the songbook, and keep trying to get your rendition of the song to sound as close as you can to the original, eg in terms of it sounding fluid and musical when you play ... often when you first learn a complete song, you have all the notes and can play it all through, but it can sound a bit disjointed and not as fluid or musical as the original playing - keep practicing it and concentrating on getting each phrase/lick to sound musical and close as you can to the original playing.

    If you want a good instructional source for using modes, then by far the best I've ever found is the Scott Henderson DVD. That's an absolutely killer DVD for any serious guitarist, but it's probably far too advanced for you at this stage (it assumes you know already all patterns of all scales, all modes, and all arpeggios).

    I'm also a big supporter of alternate picking. Not just for super-fast shred playing, but for absolutely everything. If you become a master of alternate picking then your playing will sound much more fluid and articulate. Whereas if you are poor on alternate picking, imho you’re playing will always sound like it's full of picking errors.

    Speed Mechanics is fine for practicing alternate picking, though of course Paul Gilbert also has a number of excellent DVD's where his playing is almost entirely dependent on precise alternate picking, and those DVD's contain masses of great practice material. Though again, that's all difficult advanced playing. Similarly, Don Mock has a brilliant jazz-fusion DVD where he's playing everything by strict alternate picking (The Blues from Rock to Jazz), and you can really hear the difference that makes to his phrasing and his accenting throughout the DVD, but again it's far too advanced unless you've already been playing for years. So ... all that considered, Speed Mechanics is probably the best choice for now (that has lots of pretty complex playing anyway!).
    Last edited by Crossroads; 10-16-2012 at 07:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thank you guys for all your replys......

    It kinda looks like i have opend up a big can of worms by reading your replys wich is very good information indeed but the terminology you use sometimes baffles me and i find myself frantically searching on google for the simple explenations to these words that you guys use so often, but when i search and find the answers they in turn uses the same vocabulary but thats music i spose with so many diff meanings to the same kinda simple words, but again i am a baby when it comes to theory and music so before i actually begin to learn the theory side of it 1st i must learn the language in order to have the very basic understanding of what you are actually talking about...
    crossroads is a very interesting chap as i have browsed a few posts that he has made in recent weeks and i get the feeling that he is a great believer in books and dvds and has made full use of the vast amount of stuff on the web and helping many of guitar players on this long rocky rd of learning guitar....
    malcolm seems a very bluesy soulfull folk type character with his music style and with what you have written is most helpfull as i know now what vamps are "kind of but with these links that you have posted i am sure i will understand fully in a short time: Use modal vamps. http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm3.html
    Little more of the story: http://www.riddleworks.com/modes2.html
    I have seen the word vamps written everywhereon this forum and it had no meaning" I have saved these links on my pc,mobile fone and ipad ...

    From what i have read jonR sounds a very interesting chap indeed when it comes to music theory he seems so knowledgeable in the way he comes across with his answers and theory..
    A question i have is 'how many years have you been learning all the ins and outs of theory to get to where you are now? "have you all had lessons upon lesson or was it just a hobby and the knowledge has built up over time and was you always being in the company of fellow musicians to a point to where your bursting with all this music knowledge??
    I do believe tho that a student just like myself can get lost in the theory side of things and to much and neglect the more practical side of playing the guitar" but i spose its just a case of knowing enough to be able to put it into practice with out putting to much thought into it....

    Walternewton made me chuckle as he said your putting the cart before the horse "and i think your quite right.......

  7. #7
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    Hi Malcolm,
    Thanks for the recommendation and sharing this informative link with others. Will definitely read this book so I have put it on downloading!

    summer starter
    Last edited by Abner; 10-23-2012 at 02:51 PM.

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